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Second India-US Strategic Dialogue on Africa held in Washington DC

Why is it in the news?

  • The Second India-US Strategic Dialogue on Africa took place in Washington DC.

More about the news

  • The purpose of this dialogue was to facilitate the exchange of ideas and explore avenues for developing institutional, technical, and bilateral synergies between India and the US in Africa.
  • Notably, this is the first dialogue of its kind between the two countries since the African Union became a permanent member of the G20 during India’s presidency.

Significance of Africa for India

  • Strategic Importance: Africa plays a crucial role in India’s maritime security, safeguarding trade in the Indian Ocean Region from piracy and other threats.
  • Economic Opportunities: Africa’s vast natural resources, including oil, gas, and minerals, along with its growing market, present both demand-side and supply-side opportunities for Indian businesses.
  • Energy Security: Collaboration in the renewable energy sector, such as through the International Solar Alliance, aligns with the shared goals of sustainable development.
  • Multilateral Cooperation: Partnering with African countries in multilateral forums such as the United Nations, Commonwealth, and Non-Aligned Movement enhances India’s global influence and promotes prospects for South-South cooperation.

Challenges in India-Africa Relations

  • China Factor: India faces the challenge of China’s growing influence in Africa through initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and substantial investments.
  • Security Concerns: Persistent conflicts and political instability in certain African regions pose risks to Indian investments, expatriates, and development projects.
  • Racial Tensions: African students have reported instances of harassment and discrimination, highlighting the need to address racial issues.

Initiatives by India to Engage Africa

  • Kampala Principles (2018): Indian Prime Minister outlined ten guiding principles for the India-Africa partnership, including the goal of developing together as equals and fostering local partnerships.
  • Asia-Africa Growth Corridor: In collaboration with Japan, India launched this initiative to promote cooperation with African countries.
  • Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC): India offers capacity-building opportunities to professionals and students from African nations through the ITEC program.
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief: India has provided assistance to African countries affected by natural calamities, such as Operation Sahayata for cyclone-hit Mozambique in 2019 and Operation Vanilla for flood victims in Madagascar in 2020.

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